Sunday, November 19, 2017

Santa Clause Parade and Sharing Vegan Peppermint Cookies Recipe

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Yesterday I went with my family to the Oakville Christmas parade. We enjoyed watching the bands, floats, and inflated trees and soldiers walk by. The most exciting part of the parade was of course Santa passing through.







The decorated tree in the town square
Later on, my sister made delicious peppermint chocolate cookies which are vegan so I could have some too.  They were so good and I loved the vegan chocolate chips which were added in as well.


Recipe: Vegan Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from the Beaming Baker.

I helped decorate my parent's Christmas tree with many wonderful ornaments my mom and dad have collected over the years. It is not fully decorated yet, I will share a picture soon. It was fun listening to Christmas music, drinking almond milk-"eggnog", and eating cookies while we decorated. Later on, my sister and I knitted and crocheted by the Christmas tree together.

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Have a great day! 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

How to Knit the Caterpillar Stitch - Stitchy Saturday

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. For today's post, I am sharing how to knit the caterpillar stitch. It is a fun and easy stitch to knit up.

Caterpillar Stitch



Pattern:

Cast on in multiples of 6

Row 1: K1, P5  Right side
Row 2: K5, P1  Wrong side
Row 3: K1, P5
Row 4: K5, P1
Row 5: K1, P5
Row 6: K5, P1
Row 7: P3, K1, P2
Row 8: K2, P1, K3
Row 9: P3, K1, P2
Row 10: K2, P1, K3
Row 11: P3, K1, P2
Row 12: K2, P1, K3

Repeats row 1-12

Pattern from Studio Knit

What I thought: 
It was an easy stitch that is repetitive and ends up giving a nice texture to the finished knitted piece. I like the caterpillar-like formations made by knit stitches in lines popping out among the purled stitches. I would use this stitch pattern at the bottom of a hat to add texture.  

Knitter level: beginner 
This pattern is simple, repetitive and very easy to follow. I think it would be a fun stitch pattern for a beginner to try as a good way introduce themselves to knitting a pattern.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! If you would like to keep updated on new blog entries please follow me on Bloglovin or Google Followers.  If you would like to see past posts I have done on learning new stitches, please can click here.

Have a great day! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Knitting Progress and Some Christmas Decor

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Yesterday I went to the Eaton centre in Toronto and made my very first Christmas gift purchase. I was happy to buy something yesterday while at the mall before it gets way too crazy there with people running around looking for last minute gifts. I would really like to get all my shopping done in November preferably but we shall see. I put up my mini Christmas tree beside my desk on the file cabinet. I really love it being there, so now when I am doing work, I can have it right beside me and feel the coziness of a lit Christmas tree. I will be adding small ornaments to it soon and maybe knit a few small ball ornaments to hang up for knitting inspiration. I will be putting up all of my Christmas decorations soon except the tree because we buy a real tree closer to Christmas so I will share that with you in December. I can't wait to put up the tree!

Knits under the tree


I made some progress on knitting the tank top yesterday and today. It has been fun to knit so far! I love the texture of the yarn and it is easy to knit quickly with the yarn and the metal needles I selected. I have not made further progress on the stocking recently, but I will be picking it up tomorrow to make some progress so I can finish it soon.

While downtown Toronto last weekend, I took some pictures of Christmas decorations that were put up at the Eaton Centre and outside the Bay in their windows. The Eaton centre has a huge reindeer up so far, but they have not revealed the Christmas tree yet. Looking forward to seeing it when it is put up.


It is tradition to go see the window decorations outside the Bay at Christmas time and my sister and I made sure we paid them a visit. I only took a photo of the Toronto themed window which I liked the most. The trains at the bottom of the display spun around. I liked the Toronto sign behind the skating rink which is in Nathan Philips square. It has become a popular spot in Toronto. I also love the CN tower in the background.

Bay windows winter display in Toronto

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! Please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe through email at the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!






Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What Blogging Has Given Me

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Today is day 15 of NaBloPoMo! This is the longest blogging streak I have ever had before. It has been fun blogging everyday and I love chatting with you all more frequently.  I started this blog right after graduating from college (the first time) and my friend and I thought it would be fun to make blogs. We were excited to get started in the blogging world and I was so excited to have a website to share my thoughts with others. It is interesting looking back at old posts of mine and seeing how my blogging style has changed over the years. It is nice to read my old posts and also connect to my younger self and remember what I was going through at twenty years old when I started the blog and what my goals were.  I started this blog back in September 2009 and can still remember writing that first blog post here. I made it clear in my first post that I knitted and I wanted to meet more people, discover more blogs, and learn new things. I have done all of these things since starting my blog and so much more.


My Blog:

Encourages me to knit new patterns: I have learned how to knit more things than I would have if I did not blog. I have been introduced to so many wonderful knitting projects by looking at other people's blogs and also by pushing myself to look up new patterns and fun things to knit and share on my blog. I want to keep progressing in my skills as a knitter and also to provide more new content on the blog so it inspires me to learn new patterns and types of projects.

Keeps me knitting more: I really believe that I knit more because I have a blog. I am pushing myself so much more to work on projects and complete them in order to share the final product with all of you. I am also excited to work on the knitting projects but I think that I would probably take longer had I not had the support that I get from sharing on my blog and the wonderful feedback I get on here.

Allows me to meet talented knitters and crocheters: I have been able to converse with such amazing and talented people through the blogging world that I might not get the chance to talk to normally. I have never met another knitter or crocheter who is as talented as those of you who I follow. I learn so much from you and aspire to improve my skills and be able to knit as many lovely things as you. Although I have never met any of you in person, I feel like I have because of how blogging makes it so easy to communicate with others.


Gives me a platform: I enjoy having a platform to talk about all of the things I am interested in and am passionate about. Recently I have had such an interest in everything vegan and love to share that journey with all of you. I am currently vegetarian and doing a vegan challenge and have enjoyed chatting with you about it. Having my blog gives me a platform to be able to express my thoughts on  important topics and I have seen other knitting bloggers use their blog to talk about other things that are important to them and their readers support them and offer their feedback. I love the idea that as time goes on, other things will inspire me and be important to me and I can share those things here on my blog.

A way to channel my creativity: I love having the blog to be able create and design my own website. I love to plan out the posts, take photos, add the written content, and design the layout of the posts. So much goes into one post for a blogger and I have learned that it takes a lot of vision, time, and creativity to put it all together. I am so glad I have this space that is my own to create blog entries to share my knitted work and my thoughts with you.

Helps me to learn about myself: I have learned a lot about myself by having a blog. I learned that I love to share what I create with others, I love to write, and that I persevere. I learned this year how much I persevere when I posted on my blog every week for the entire year and now I have been posting everyday in November.



Let me know in the comments below if you have a blog, what your blog has taught you about yourself and also what it has given you.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! Please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers , or you can subscribe through email at the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Knitting a Wool and the Gang Farrah Top Billie Jean

 Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Today I started knitting the Wool and the Gang Farrah Top Billie Jean kit. It is rated as easy and follows a simple stockinette pattern for both the front and back pieces. I am using the Billie Jean yarn which is 100% upcycled denim. It is a stronger yarn and has been really nice to work with so far. It is also soft so it will make a comfortable and durable tank top.


So far I have knitted 7 rows of 1 x 1 ribbing and a few rows of stockinette. I really love the ribbing on the bottom. The first piece I am working on is the front piece from bottom to top. To see the packaging that the yarn came in please check out my first post on the kit by clicking here. You can check out the kit by visiting the Wool and the Gang website here.

Close-up of the bottom of the front piece

I have still been reading Not Working by Lisa Owens and enjoying it so far. I can relate to the character. She thinks of her past place of work often and is living with her boyfriend and trying to find another job. She is unsure of what she wants and I am sure she will find clarity by the end of the book.  

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and AsKatKnits for Unwraveled Wednesday.

Thank you for visiting my blog, if you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by email in the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Pros and Cons of Joining Online Challenges

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. This month is a busy month and not so much because I have a lot of plans, but because I have set two challenges for myself to accomplish in the month of November. They are both new challenges to me and test me in different ways.

Spray painted inspiration at Brick Works in Toronto

The National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) challenge to post a new blog entry everyday in November has been fun but also has been challenging at times to think of content. I am thinking more outside the box and about posts that I have not written and are not always knitting related.
The second challenge I joined this month is the vegan Challenge 22+  which challenges me to eat a purely vegan diet for 22 days. I think they made it 22 days so it is a length of time people can commit to.
Both of these challenges have similarities: they are around a month long, they are all or nothing challenges, if you mess up a day then you feel like you failed the challenge, and there is a community developed out of both of these challenges and people encourage one another. The community aspect is important because if I have moments of feeling like eating cheese, and I think...about all the people in the challenge... and my mentor who hopes we succeed. If I want to skip a post during NaBloPoMo, I think I will let myself down and maybe even the community of bloggers who do post everyday and maybe read my posts. These things keep me on track and most challenges are created to better our lives and then have added bonuses of meeting amazing people doing the same challenge, feeling proud of accomplishing the challenge, and seeing how far you can do and seeing improvement in the long run.


I want to discuss some pros and cons of taking on challenges so we can discuss this in depth and acknowledge that they are not always easy.


Pros:

Challenges keep us working towards our goals: I like joining these challenges because it keeps me focused on meeting goals and thinking about what I want to accomplish. It also helps me hold myself accountable. If we make a goal and join online and also let people know on a blog or on the group page of a challenge that we are committed to making it happen, then we can hold ourselves more accountable and so can others.

Photo source

Community: having a community to turn to who are working on the same challenge as you is very powerful. It also gives us positive emotions and feelings towards the challenge because it builds such a community and you can meet new people and chat with like-minded people. Having support from people who also are participating in the same challenge as you offers a lot of support and more so sometimes than we receive from our loved ones if they do not understand our journey the same way.
Photo source

Creativity: This one definitely relates more to the blog challenge I am doing and need to write a blog post every day for 30 days. It forces me to be more creative in thinking of blog post ideas and thinking outside of the box in order to come up with so much blog post content. Other challenges cause you to have to be creative as well, come up with more recipes ideas and be creative to develop the new meal plan, coming up with a new exercise routine, or if you are creating art, to create new pieces each day.

Cons:

Challenges can add pressure: They hold you accountable to produce a result daily or weekly and sometimes we feel like we do not have anything to give. This can cause us some stress if we feel like we cannot produce the result or make time to do it and can make us feel like we are failing.

Want to give up: sometimes we might have thoughts about giving up on a challenge if it is too rigid. I had a thought last Saturday about not posting on my blog because it got busy but glad I did anyways. Also the vegan challenge can feel rigid at times and I notice I have cravings for cheese more than anything, but I can reward myself at the end with some pizza.

Photo source
Life gets busy: sometimes these challenges take extra time out of our already busy days. Planning posts, planning meals, or whatever challenge you have set requires more time and effort. This can be a big problem if you have responsibilities and cannot make extra time for your goals during the evenings or in the morning.

I think that even after reviewing the pros and cons of doing challenges, the pros still outweigh the cons for me and I still prefer to do them. They give me a feeling of accomplishment when I finish them and knowing I will feel accomplished helps me to persevere. I also love working towards a goal that I can accomplish in 22-30 days and feel proud of what I have done.

What challenges have you done in the past? Did you like the outcome and was it worth the effort? Let me know in the comments below! If you would like to find a fun new challenge to join visit Pinterest here to see all the things you can challenge yourself to doing this Winter.

Thank you for visiting my blog and if you would like to follow my blog to keep updated on when I post, please follow me through Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by email at the top right of my blog. Tomorrow I will be sharing some of my current knitting projects and what I am reading!

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Visit to Romni Wools Yarn Store in Toronto

Hello Friends,

I hope you're doing well. Yesterday my sister and I went to Romni Wools yarn store in Toronto, Ontario. We walked down Queen Street  for quite awhile and stopping in some gift shops along the way and Crate and Barrel where they had an adorable dog photo shoot to promote their dog line. The dogs were all waiting in line patiently with their owners to get their photos taken on a chair in the corner beside a Christmas tree. Then we made our way to Romni Wools and were pleasantly surprised by how a wide selection and variety of yarn they have.

Looking through the yarn 


We had to wander around a few times through the whole store before I could decide on which yarn to buy. There is a front area and back area with a lot of rows of shelves and then there is an area in the basement with even more yarn.


There was a whole corner of sock yarn, but I did not end up buying any sock yarn this time around because I recently bought the alpaca sock yarn that I still need to use. I will definitely make my way back to Romni again to buy some.

Sock knitting heaven

So much beautiful yarn in one place 
 We finally left after spending probably close to an hour looking through all the beautiful yarn.

The outside sign
My sister really stocked up and bought a lot of yarn for various projects and I bought a couple of skeins. I bought some black chunky yarn by Galway and some speckled yarn in the colorway "happy" and brand Allegria Grande. The Galway yarn is for a Christmas gift and the speckled 'happy' yarn might become some mittens.


Allegria Grande "happy". The colors make me happy

Galway chunky black yarn
It was such a fun day going downtown with my sister and shopping together at Romni Wools and some other gift shops. I am so glad we both love to make with yarn, she crochets and I knit. It is so nice to share this passion with someone close to me and be able to get excited over yarn together. After we left Romni Wools, we ended up at TOMA Burger and we both tried their new vegan burger with some fries and a pint of beer. It was a successful day of yarn shopping and a nice finish to the day by having a delicious meal.

Thank you for visiting my blog, if you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by email in the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What is in My Essential Knit Kit

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Today my sister and I went to a yarn store in Toronto and I will share more about that trip and my yarn haul tomorrow. I watched Leisel's video on Buckaloo View about her knitting kit essentials and decided to do a blog post in response to the question "what is in your essential knit kit?" I am making a blog post to write about my knitting essentials. I will throw it out there to you all, what is in your essential knit kit?


1. Knitting bag
I received this Nantucket bag as a gift many years ago and it is so handy for story needles and things in. There are many pockets on the sides and then a large compartment in the middle. This part usually ends up being a bit cluttered especially with circular needles. I need to come up with a system for those. I really like the bag though to keep the needles all in one place.





2. Needles in many sizes but mostly US 10/ 6 mm
I have a lot of needles in my knitting bag. Somehow I acquired many needles size US 10/ 6 mm because maybe when I was starting out knitting I kept doing patterns using that size and never knew if I owned the right needles so kept buying them? That is my guess.

Some needles but definitely not all of them!

3. Row counters
I was happy to receive the red clover row counter for my birthday this year. I also have a manual one that would sometimes turn on its own if I put it down quickly. So I asked for the Clover one for my birthday and I am loving it! these little things come in handy when working on projects that call for 9 rows of k1,p1 and then 5 rows of purl. You can keep track of how many rows you knitted. I used to write this down on a paper by drawing lines and numbers or on my phone when I don't have a row counter on me.


4. Darning needles 
I always seem to misplace these little needles and think to myself where is the needle! I like sticking them in this plush heart I made some years ago and knowing they are there on my desk. It also helps me to track them down.



5. Stitch markers and blocking pins
Stitch markers are a life saver for me when I am knitting. I mostly have these turquoise ones. I have seen so many cute ones on Instagram, I will have to get some in the future.These blocking pins came in handy when I was blocking my sweater pieces and will help out with pinning down pieces for future projects.
Stitch markers on the left and blocking pins on the right 


I would like to add some more things to my knit kit like some scissors specially for cutting yarn. I liked some gold fancy looking ones today at a yarn store in Toronto called Romni Wools. I would also like to buy some fun stitch markers and add variety to my collection as well as add variety to my needles. I saw some bamboo needles today with different Plasticine designs on the ends which would be really nice to work with. I have a few other tools in the bag, but these are my essentials that I use most of the time and that I can't knit without.

Thank you for visiting my blog, if you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by email in the top right corner of the blog. Let me know in the comments below what you have in your knit kit!

Have a great day!

Friday, November 10, 2017

First Day of My 22-Day Vegan Challenge and Knitting Progress

Hello Friends,

I hope you're doing well. Last night we had the first snowfall of the season in Toronto and it is very cold today. There isn't much snow on the ground, just a sprinkle of it. I hope this winter weather holds off just a bit longer because I don't feel ready for the cold and snow yet.

Today is day 1 of the 22 day vegan challenge I am doing called Challenge 22+. I decided to do the challenge because I am vegetarian now and eating mostly vegan but wanted to challenge myself to not having dairy, eggs, and honey at all for 22 days. I am not sure at this point if I could go vegan permanently just because so many products have milk ingredients and eggs. If you would like to join the challenge, you still can, they have different groups for the challenge starting at different times on Facebook. They match you up with a mentor who you can ask questions and they offer support. My mentor is so friendly, helpful, and supportive and I feel like it will be a great experience.

Day 1: What I Ate:
Today I ate oatmeal (Robin Hood Quick Oats) with one banana cut up and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I also had some coffee and poured in some almond milk. I like to use the Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk in my smoothies and coffee to add extra flavoring. For lunch I had an Amy's brand bean and rice burrito. Not all of the burritos are vegan but there are two types that I get all the time which are: bean and the one I had today, bean and rice. I got a veggie burger at South St. burger for dinner on a lettuce wrap with some fries. Later I had a couple spoons of So Delicious dairy-free frozen dessert in the chocolate flavor.

I tried this So Delicious dairy-free frozen dessert tonight and loved it! It tasted exactly like ice cream! I loved this chocolate flavor. I can really see myself switching to dairy-free frozen desserts now over ice cream too. I had my doubts before buying it that it would not taste as good as ice cream, but it exceeded my expectations.



My second stocking is coming along, I knitted some more stripes and should be done in time for decorating this week or next week! I am still working on untangling the alpaca yarn and hope to get started on those socks soon.


 I forgot to share with you guys that I received these cute needles and wool socks as a gift for my birthday. I love these socks, I will wear them yarn shopping with my sister tomorrow!


Thank you for visiting my blog, if you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by email in the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

My Favorite Knitting and Lifestyle Vlogs on YouTube

Hello Friends,

I hope you're doing well. Today I was busy studying all day for a quiz, so I did not get to working on my blog post of the day until way later today. I love reading blogs and always check Bloglovin' every morning to see if there are any updates on your blogs, then check out my blog and read the comments. I look forward to this routine every morning and love to drink my smoothie and catch up with what is going on in the blogging world. I also love to watch vlogs on YouTube and I have several that I really enjoy watching. I am usually knitting while watching them because the vlogs are so relaxing to knit to. So below is a list of my favorites, hope that you enjoy reading about them and maybe check some out:


1. Jamie's Simple Life
Jamie talks about her life and posts videos such as day in the life, clean with me, and lately she has been posting a lot of pregnancy update videos. She is having a boy in December this year and I am really excited for her because I have been following her journey from the beginning of her pregnancy. I have been watching her videos for one year now, I started watching her Vlogmas videos last year and they were so fun to watch.

2. Buckaloo View
I like to watch Leisel's videos to see what she is up to, she is a spinner, natural dyer, sewer, knitter, and designer, she does it all. I like how she mentions she is trying to revamp her old family farm and bring it back to life. She shares projects she is working on, books she is reviewing, patterns she tests out and updates on her life.

3. The Gentle Knitter 
I like watching Nicole's podcasts because she talks about projects she is working on and some patterns she will be trying out. She discusses books she wants to share and many interesting things with her viewers. She is also Canadian which is pretty cool! probably the only vlogger I follow who is from Canada.

4. Grace Report
I like watching Grace's videos, they are all about Teen Mom Gossip and she discusses other shows too but she really focuses on Teen Mom. Her commentary is always hilarious and entertaining and she comments on little things during the shows that I missed sometimes. I like how she digs up information on the cast members from Twitter and other social media I would never have known about otherwise. So if you enjoy watching Teen Mom as well you will love watching her channel!

5. Glitterandgroceries
I like Maureen's videos because she shares her holiday decor finds, trips to Disneyworld (I want to go!), and activities she does with family such as the garage sale she did with her mom last weekend to declutter before Christmas. I also love her Vlogmas videos! last year I started watching during her Vlogmas series and enjoyed seeing how she prepared for Christmas. She loves Christmas probably as much or more than I do, that is a big reason why I like watching her Vlogmas videos too.

6. So You're Dating a Vegan
I started watching Duncun and Liz's videos right after I went vegetarian and was so curious about the vegan lifestyle. It is fun to watch as they travel and find vegan restaurants and bakeries, try new recipes, and do tastings of vegan foods. I really enjoyed watching their video series of people doing vegan challenges. They are so fun to watch and their videos are always so entertaining and interesting.

I hope to discover some more knitting podcasts to follow because so far I only watch two and mostly watch lifestyle vlogs. If you have any lifestyle or knitting vlogs you'd like to share, let me know about them in the comments section below, I would love to discover some more.

Thank you for visiting my blog, if you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by email in the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!
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